January 7. 6 to 9 p.m. Free admission to the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Friday Shark Lagoon Nights. The aquarium is free from 6pm to 9pm select Friday nights. Please note that while it is almost every Friday, some Fridays are excluded. Check the dates for availability before you go. Shark Lagoon Nights can be canceled due to poor weather. 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802.
January 8. 10 a.m. FREE Build and Grow Clinic at Lowes. Bring your child to Lowe's and they can build a project. The kids get goggles and an apron and a kit to build an item. They use hammers their size and get a patch afterward for completing the project.
January 8-9. 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Let's Make a Comet at the Griffith Park Observatory. This show is a 25-minute demonstration program that mixes common household ingredients with dry ice to make a small comet that's just like the real thing. The program explores the nature of water in all its forms - solid, liquid, and gas - and discusses why water is so important to life on Earth. Best for ages 4 and older. Free admission to the Observatory and demonstration. 2800 E. Observatory Road, Los Angeles.
January 9. 6 p.m. FREE weekly concerts at LACMA. These one-hour concerts are presented free to the public on Sundays in the Leo S. Bing Theater. This week: The Lyris Quartet with Pianist Mikhail Korzhev. Alyssa Park (violin) Shalini Vijayan (violin), Luke Maurer (viola), and Timothy Loo (cello) perform Shostakovich: Quartet No. 3 in F major, Opus 73, and Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, opus 34.
January 11. 10:30-11:30 a.m. FREE. Toddler story time at Borders at the Northridge Mall.
There’s a website that lists all the Groupon deals each day (Thanks Wendi, for the website information!) Groupon has a bunch of national, doesn’t-matter-where-you-live deals. To get the offers, visit Groupon, sign-in or sign-up, then select the city that’s listing the deal you want from the drop-down list of cities at the top of the Groupon site. Visit http://www.groupongirl.com/ to see a comprehensive list of the Groupon deals.
December 13-May 1. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Science in Toyland at the California Science Center. (It looks like they extended the exhibit until May. We went this week and my boys loved it!) In this exhibit, kids can play games while learning science concepts, like how to make bridges stronger or why tops spin. FREE! 700 Exposition Park Dr., L.A.
L.A. County Junior Golf is a wonderful and free program! They are offering an afterschool weeklong program for children 18 and under starting in January at various golf courses. It is very well organized, with the children grouped by age and plenty of instructors. My boys (ages 4 & 7) participated this summer and loved it! (I got to sit and read a book, so I loved it too!) Here’s a link to the website: http://www.lacountyjuniorgolf.com/applications.htm Click on 2011 After School Free Programs Northern Section.
January 17. 12–8 pm. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, LACMA is offering free admission, plus family activities, a performance by the legendary Los Angeles group Pan Afrikan People's Arkestra, engaging talks highlighting African American art in the collection, and a family drawing activity outdoors.